MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04: Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino greets head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers prior to Clemson playing against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
I hope everyone is having an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. Please be sure to remember that Memorial Day is a day to remember those who gave all so that we may enjoy this country's freedoms.
I'll limit the topics today and stay off the golf game to keep this quick. Big XII expansion talks remain at the top of the screen. We do know that there was a BOT meeting last week that focused on the topic. We do know that Clemson representatives will talk with the Big XII if approached. We do not believe there is any sort of deal currently on the table and don't think the Big XII will make any major decisions for another month. I personally believe there have been informal discussions between the Big 12 and both Clemson and FSU but, as TDP and several others have relayed, these are preliminary and the real discussions are still a little ways away.
More murmurings and talk emerged the past couple weeks over the emergence of four major superconferences and the 60 to 65 schools who make up these groups splitting from the BCS. The SEC and Big XII pretty much decided they did not want to play with the rest of the football world when they set up their guaranteed "Cotton Bowl" potentially pitting the SEC and Big 12 champ or runner up in an annual game. We all see the vast potential for further expansion of both leagues (Big 12 desperately wants to get back to twelve teams and a conference championship, so it will happen there).
As the landscape currently stands, the Pac 12 and the Big 10 have 12 members, the SEC 14, and the Big XII has 10. I could easily see a scenario where each of these conferences expands to sixteen teams then splits away from the current BCS system to set up a postseason football tournament that consists of just conference members. The 16 team conferences also set up nicely for four team "pods" and, potentially, some sort of two round conference tournament to determine a conference championship. This won't happen in the immediate future but I personally don't see it as too big of a pipe dream. The money made on such a deal would be astronomical. Further, it would filter out most of the revenue sharing parasites (in the ACC, those include the likes of Boston College and Wake Forest). This increases overall conference value and assures the teams that put television money in the conference's pocket are the ones who ultimately get paid.
We've all seen items pertaining to Coach Dabo's and Clemson agreeing in principle to a contract extension. The details have not hit the street. I assume/hope that his deal is still incentive laden and protects Clemson. Dabo gets the extension because of the improvement shown since taking over from Bowden in 2008. Since then, Clemson has been in the ACC Championship twice and won once. I'll say that the upgrade in football assistants has been impressive and the addition of Chad Morris (and Sammy Watkins) added several games to last season's win column. As we gain more insight on this item, we'll pass along the info. From the outside, this should be typical.
Clemson baseball went 1-2 in ACC tournament round robin play. Our Tigers did, however, knock off the nation's number 1 team (FSU) in dramatic fashion. Clemson now gets to head down to Columbia and participate in #8 National Seed South Carolina's regional where our Tigers are the #2 seed. Coastal Carolina got the #3 seed and Manhattan rounds out the grouping.
Wow! That is what I think of this selection. It makes all kinds of logistical sense to keep South Carolina's three best schools in state. This should also generate a boatload of cash. In addition to their annual three game series, it would be a novel idea to host an in-state baseball tournament featuring Clemson and South Carolina, possibly in Greenville, Charleston, or Myrtle Beach. We'll see what the participants think of this mini-tournament and maybe something can be taken from this for early season baseball some year.